UPDATE: Five displaced in North Hopewell Township blaze
Five residents were displaced in a North Hopewell Township house fire Friday morning.
A fire that originated on the outside of a ranch-style home on Mount Olivet Road, near the cross streets of Millers School Road and Blymire Hollow Road, was contained near the back of the house in a bathroom, partial bedroom and the ceiling, said a fire official at the scene.
North Hopewell Winterstown Volunteer Fire Co. responded shortly after 10:25 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 29, upgrading the severity of the fire to a second alarm while en route.
"We could noticeably see flames on the outside," said Fire Chief Benjamin Grove, on arriving at the scene.
It took about 40 minutes to contain the fire, he said. About eight fire companies on the scene and on standby assisted with the efforts.
"We believe it started on the outside of the residence near a coal bin that was full of approximately three tons of coal," Grove said.
The coal was for use in a heating stove, he added.
The chief estimated damages to be between $50,000 and $75,000.
One of the family members "woke up to something hitting her window," said neighbor Irene Woods, who preferred not to give the woman's name.
The displaced family includes a husband and wife, two daughters aged 19 and 22 and a 16-year-old son. Two others were visiting for the Thanksgiving holiday, so seven people were evacuated on Friday.
A dog and cat also got out, but another cat was still missing Friday.
Family members reported that some of them were sleeping when they saw flames and heard screaming. On Friday, they were still weighing options for temporary housing.
Woods, who lives across the street, said she kept seeing smoke coming from the back of the house.
"We're just thankful they got out," she said.